Frankfurt - As the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign's leading marksman, plenty of column inches have been attributed to Eintracht Frankfurt's 13-goal captain since the season got under way last August.
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, the 32-year-old forward talks about his side's hopes for the Rückrunde, the dangers of relegation and his undying Eagle-eyed love...
bundesliga.com: Alex Meier, how's it going with the injury you picked up on friendly duty? Are you a doubt for the first game of the Rückrunde?
Alexander Meier: The last two days were ok, I was able to train. We'll have to see how it goes in the coming days, but I'm optimistic it'll be alright.
bundesliga.com: At the beginning of the Hinrunde it was hard to imagine that you'd end the first half of the season not just as top scorer, but also as one of the best players.
Meier: I'd rather not be held in such high regard. Success is down to the whole team, not just individuals. I think Haris Seferovic is a great striker, too. Everyone has a part to play, not just the players, but the whole backroom staff. Sometimes I stick around after training to do a couple of extra exercises with Wolfgang Rolff.
bundesliga.com: You've always scored goals in recent years, but at 32 it appears that you're better than ever, having lots of fun and loving your football…
Meier: I've always had fun and loved my football! (laughs). Well, at least when I'm fit. That's what it hinges on. It's not really for me to say if I've really got better. That's for others to decide.
bundesliga.com: Was this your best ever Hinrunde?
Meier: It's hard to say. I've gone through other decent periods during my time at Frankfurt. It definitely went well during the first half of the season, but that's history. We've got an Englische Woche coming up and all that matters is that we make a good start.
bundesliga.com: For that to happen, the team must improve defensively - you've scored 34 and conceded just as many. You also lost 4-3 to Swiss second division side Servette Genf in a recent friendly? Why hasn't it quite been going according to plan?
Meier: Serviette wouldn't have scored four if we'd been at 100 per cent. But we're working as hard as ever and we're all aware that conceding 34 goals isn't just down to the defence. As strikers, we also have to defend if we want to improve in that department. Nevertheless, we don't want to go to the other extreme: we want to keep scoring plenty of goals and that's how it should stay.
bundesliga.com: Are you also banking on the return of Carlos Zambrano?
Meier: Carlos is a fantastic defender, who's always looking to get forward. You really notice it when a player like that is missing. That said, I also believe that a professional team should always have alternatives so that anyone can come in and out in defence and attack. Whether it's going well or not, it's never only about individual players.
bundesliga.com: You recently warned of the dangers of the Rückrunde, having already witnessed how quickly things can turn sour during your time at Frankfurt...
Meier: Exactly. Back then [in the 2010/11 season], we were seventh on 26 points at the halfway point. At the end of the season we were 17th and relegated because we only managed to pick up eight points over the course of the Rückrunde. That's a serious warning, especially as the table is so closely contested. If you lose a couple and the teams below win their games, it can get really tight.
bundesliga.com: Closely contested - the same can be said of the clubs chasing European football. Eintracht are only five points off third...
Meier: I still think that's unrealistic. Bayern, Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Gladbach and Schalke are all pretty much where they want to be. And I wouldn't put it past Dortmund doing enough in the Rückrunde to get into the Europa League. That's six places taken up already. Our goal can only be to get the points needed to secure our place in the Bundesliga as quickly as possible. We'll have to see what happens after that.
bundesliga.com: You've been playing for the same team for 11 years, but we hardly know a thing about your private life - no scandals and still no tattoos. It sounds like you're a bit of a dying breed in today's game...
Meier: I don't know about 'a dying breed'. But tattoos? I've never really thought about them. Of course I'm aware plenty of players have them these days, but it's a completely different time compared to my youth and people make their own decisions about what they do and don't want. As for other players who've been at one club for a long time, there are a fair few. It might well be, though, that the number is on the wane. What matters to me is that I've always felt happy in Frankfurt. On top of that, it was really important for me to lay down a marker when we were relegated. The club's always stood by me in difficult times. It seemed only natural for me to stay and help the team get out of the mire as quickly as possible.
bundesliga.com: Your contract runs until 2017. Will you be ending your career at Eintracht?
Meier: Eintracht's without doubt the last team I'll be playing for in Germany. Right now, I can't say whether or not I'd embark on a new adventure if it were to come my way. Besides, I'm not thinking so far ahead. Eintracht are all that matter to me right now.
Alexander Meier was talking to Andreas Kötter